2019-04-16 - Runaway Harlem Train


A pleasant evening in Harlem is interrupted by an MTA train catastrophe. Heroes intervene to try and keep the catastrophe from turning into a disaster.

Log Info:

Storyteller: Anya Corazon
Date: Tue Apr 16 23:55:26 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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Theme Song



-Anya, grandma is worried. Says you've been out too much lately. What's going on?-

Anya eyeballs the text message with no shortage of irritation. She holds the phone in one hand, the other out to steady herself as she kicks a skate board up a sidewalk along the border between Spanish Harlem and Harlem proper. She'd been decent a riding a board before, but now? There's a chance she'd give Bam Margera a run for his money.

The storms that rolled through the region yesterday have left New York a beautiful place at dusk; a warm 71 degrees, with few clouds in the sky. People are happy, and life is good. Despite having to explain away her absence from home lately to a concerned cousin, Anya is in a pleasant mood.

The street leads her alongside one of those areas where the subway emerges from underground, starting its gradual climb into elevation above street level. This is her stomping ground, and she knows the neighborhood like the back of her hand. Just another reason why life is good today.

"I'm sorry, this isn't Queens." Betty explains to the cabbie who's pulled over, having an explosively expressive conversation over his phone. It's on speaker, and mentally straining. "Excuse me," she pipes up gently, leaning forward and giving a soft tapping against the plastic partition that keeps them seperated. "Excuse me, this isn't Queens. This is Harlem. You missed the turn at…Sir? Sir!" At length, the man turns in her direction, stink-eye on point. Some abuse is thrown before she slips out of her car. "Harlem is North and Queens is south, you ass!" Betty retorts, tossing her fare inside the cab and kicking at its wheel with the tip of her pumps. After they speed off, she takes a breath and rubs at the bridge of her nose.

"Time to walk home, Brant. Not like it's the first time you've had to." A shudder and shake back to a more calm Brant, she straightens her back and starts walking, heels clicking all the while.

At which point, Dani comes out of one of the nearby restaurants. She likes sneaking into the City from the school, just because she still can't get quite enough of New York. Plus there's enough rooftop gardens for Brightwind to sneak a nibble and hide out without attracting attention.

So currently the T-shirt and jeans clad teenager waves cheerily at the restaurant owners as she walks out, nearly stumbling right into Anya. She then blinks in surprise, "Hey, Anya right?" She then grins, "Didn't think I'd see you here."

Spider-Man is out and about, doing what a spider can. He's enjoying the cool weather, the new suit is fresh and clean (although the bedsheets are now a purplish-red) and he has already stopped an attempted date-rape without breaking a sweat.

He opts to land on a lightpole and assess the area. No danger as of yet, although…wait…is that…

Holy Toledo, it is. And she doesn't look at all happy.

He jumps to the lightpole across the street, activates the harmonizer that alters his voice, then says, "Evenin', Miss Brant," in his Spider-Man voice.

Rose Wilson has never been what someone would call the 'sociable' sort. So, it should be no surprise when she steps out of a bar with the help of several bouncers who seem not so much encouraged to lay hands on her, just to make sure she actually leaves, and she's smirking, to herself. "What a shithole," she says, conversationally to no one. She huffs, and takes a trip onto the street, looking back and almost running into Betty as she does so.

Her, and Spider-Man, who grabs her attention by calling out. "Jesus," she snarks at the sudden appearance. "Doesn't he get enough bad press already? He wants more? Idiot."

Old Chucks Are required for skateboarding. As are, apparently, matte black tights, an aggressively short pair of denim shorts, a bepatched denim jacket and a vintage THE SMITHS t-shirt.

Were it not for Anya's heightened reflexes, she might have skateboarded right into Dani. Instead, she quickly kicks the skateboard into an angle and swerves to the side, grinding it on the cement in a half circle. "Whoa! Dani? No way!" exclaims the short Latina. "You kidding? You're practically in my neighborhood!" She kicks the skateboard up into her hand, then slings it between the backpack and her shoulders so that she can give Dani a hug. "Whatcha doing?"

Not far from there, a police car suddenly kicks on its lights. The siren bloops once, and it pulls over toward the left side of the street, not far from where Dani and Anya are, and a bit further away from the others. The officer quickly jumps out, climbs the fence separating the street from the emerging subway tunnel, and shines a flashlight into the tunnel, as if looking for something.

Sirens begin coming to life throughout the nearby blocks, and soon enough, another police car pulls out not far from here and makes to block traffic at an intersection just beneath a crossover where the subway tracks finally breach the streets that run below them.

From deep in the tunnel, a discomforting, distant scream can be heard; the scream of metal on metal.

Betty Brant pulls up short, hand up and smile on her face so not to run into Rose directly. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going." A nod and expression of apology, she blinks and turns her head when her name is called. Beaming, she waves a hand up and in the air. "Spider-Man! Hello! What are you doing up this way?" She parts her cherry lips to continue the light conversation only to have the blues-and-twos steal her attention.

Digging into her purse, she pulls out a pen and pad of paper, her warm eyes skipping from Spider to Wilson alike, asking them both to, "Excuse me…" as she turns and starts off in the direction of action. Heels clicking, she's a woman with a purpose, already sketching down details.

Dani grins at Anya, "Oh, hey, friend I met turned me on to the chicken and waffles they do here. They use this jerk syrup that's really nice with the sweet and spicy." She hugs Anya back, then shrugs, looking over at the direction of the scream, "Um… we should probably check that out, right?" She looks over at Anya, arching a brow as she starts moving in that direction already…

Spider-Man looks at her and mentally groans. He should have known she was like this. He spots the cops and hopes they are not coming for him. Then he hears the thin scream of metal and realizes his worries can be tabled for another time. Someone might be in *real* trouble.

He jumps to the ledge overlooking the whole area, then plants the GoPro designed to track him. After a button press, he jumps out in the direction Betty is going. As he catches up, he says, "Miss Brant, you need to be careful! How bad do you think it is when the COPS show up before the TROUBLE does??"

"Shit." Rose WIlson exhales, clearly annoyed. And, very, very irritated. She reaches, casually, into her back pocket and slides a pack of cigarettes out. Then, a rather expensive zippo lighter. She lights, inhales, savours the breath, then expells. Her brow furrows. She starts to turn away, as if to leave Spider-Man to get blasted all over the Daily Bugle about how he caused a literal train wreck, and takes two steps.

She stops. "Might was well. It's not like you have anything else better to do, Rose," she tells herself. She turns again on her heels, and starts to walk towards the incoming catastrophe.

More and more sirens are sounding all up and down Harlem now, as police and firefighters rush to try and block off traffic along this particular elevated subway line.

And still, the scream grows louder. Those familiar with the sounds of subway trains will recognize it, but it sounds very, very wrong.

Anya looks at Dani, clearly very worried. "Yeah," she doesn't even hesitate to say, but it doesn't really sink in as to what's happening until she shoves a hand under her shirt and pulls up a black and white mask to cover her face.

Off comes the backpack and skateboard, and as she dashes behind a bus stop, Anya throws them at the shelter, followed quickly by a blast of white webbing that secures both firmly in place.

Before you know it, she's leaping onto the fence and scampering up it like an animal, or, perhaps more appropriately, like an arachnid. Moving sideways at an alarming rate, she keeps going until she can leap up onto an overhanging railroad signal light, giving her an excellent vantage point of the tunnel.

Of course, in doing so, the shirt accidentally catches on the fence, ripping it right off to reveal more of the black costume with a white spider-symbol emblazoned down her front half.

Anyone on the street who is close enough to law enforcement will be able to hear reports coming in over the radios… about a mechanical error and a runaway subway train.

A light grows rapidly in the tunnel, and a gust of air blows debris away from the tunnel itself. Whatever is down there, it's coming… and it's coming FAST.

"Just do your thing, Spidey! I'll be fine. Go!" She urges the boy in blue and red, her lean legs carrying her closer and closer to harm's way. It's then that notices other figures moving around, one she'd never seen before, but the spider was almost unmistakeable. Another scribble, another thought, she moves up behind the forming blocking unit of the cops on scene. "Excuse me, officer. Betty Brant, Daily Bugle. Can you tell me what's going on?"

Those sounds were wrong. Very, very wrong, and the rush of air wasn't boding well, either. Poised and panting, lightly, she eyes the cop directly before side-glancing toward the tunnel.

Dani hrms, "Well, if it's a runaway train, I don't know what I can do…" But that doesn't mean she's not going to try, as she sends out a mental summons to Brightwind.

The horse, for his part, looks like he was about to chow down on a few plants in a rooftop garden when he gets the summons. If a horse could sigh, Brightwind probably would, but as it is he spreads his wings and moves off in Dani's direction.

Meanwhile, Dani concentrates, and suddenly she is sheathed in Asgardian chainmail, along with a helm adorning her head. At her hip is a sheathed sword, as she runs after Anya in the direction of the train.

Spider-Man nods to Betty, then jumps to the top of the fence, then leaps over the expanse to land above the opening to the tunnel. He blinks as he sees the woman in a black costume, and…denim shorts? Okay, that's different. The spider emblazoned in her costume, though…what was that? Another OsCorp experiment?

*FOCUS, PINKY,* a cartoon mouse tells him in a droll tone in his mind, and he pokes his head down to look at what he fears is a subway that has suddenly become an express.

"Well…looks like I'm going to have to catch a train…" he says softly.

"Death train," Rose Wilson responds, flatly, as she passes both the officer, and Betty in answer to the journalists inquiry. She pauses, looking at Betty with her singular eye. "You might want to step back. The menace up there is about to try and impress you."

She doesn't have her energy katana's on, but she does toss the cigarette to the ground, and reaches into her back pocket to pull out a orange-and-black headband which she secures over her face. It obscures her eyepatch entirely with a split-in-half color scheme, leaving her with one eye to view her surroundings in.

Then there's another person dressed up like a Spider. And, someone who can summon armor at will. And a sword. Rose huffs, "Don't see that everyday." She considers, takes a few more steps forward, and a few steps to the side, as if she were anticipating where the danger was going to be.

"Some kinda mechanical problem on the line," the officer quickly tells Brant. "Won't slow down or brake, severe chance it'll derail. You wanna help, get online and tell folks they need to clear out all these lines from here all the way uptown!"

Gloves now pulled on, Anya is quickly weaving a web across the train's path, hoping that if anything it might slow her down. With Dani not far, she calls out, "They'd have killed juice to the powered rail if they could, there must be some problem with the power grid kill switches!"

Second best plan is to get on board that train. The realization hits her like a ton of bricks, and with a gulp, she mutters to herself, "Oh man. This is loco."

Down onto her own web Spider-Girl climbs, in what might seem like a suicide move. Only then does she spot Spider-Man over the tunnel, which has her suddenly feeling quite self aware. Clinging to the web by her legs, she fires twin weblines at buildings in the distance, then begins pulling on them to create tension.

Suddenly, the train bursts out of the tunnel, giving everyone about two seconds to do… whatever it is they're gonna try to do before it passes them by.

"He's not a menace!" She calls after Rose, watching the surly woman dawn the mask of orange and black. Blinking, her eyes flit up toward the display of twin Spiders, and the woman in armor? "She-Ra?" She questions to no one in particular, her pen still going regardless of where her eyes settle. It's the cop that drags her attention back to the now, and with a nod she steps back, yanking her phone out from the front of her shirt. "Jim, hey. Betty. We have a problem in Harlem. Train is going off the rails. I need you getting people out of the way of the stops south of here. Thanks." Hanging up, she steps back and starts another call. "Frank? Long time, so listen…"

Dani isn't She-Ra, despite the armor, and helm, and sword… running rapidly at the train. However, she doesn't exactly have web shooters, so she instead runs up towards a platform and then does something crazy. Namely, she leaps off…

And then she starts to fall. As apparently valkyries don't fly. However.

Brightwind does fly, and he catches Dani perfectly in flight, the valkyrie landing on the winged horse as she starts pacing the train, trying to figure out something that she should be able to do here.

Spider-Man uses his two seconds as best he can.

He has to try and slow it down from the rear. If he tries from the front, the rear wheels will lift as they hit the web, if the web holds, the train will derail, and the cars with their delicate cargo will go every which way, pulping the contents, rendering them…"ineligible for resale."

It has to be DRAGGED to a stop if they can't engage all the wheels at once.

Spidey jumps, landing on the last car at the rear, his feet planting on the steel skin, then begins firing webs to connect the rear car to the rails. They may hold, but they probably won't at this speed; however, the more he does it, the slower it will get, and then there will be a point where tensile strength will exceed forward motion. So, Science, guys and gals!

He keeps firing from the roof of the last car. In the back of his mind, Spider-Man thinks if the cars separate, he'll have to catch the ones pulling away. How much track before the curve? Two miles? A mile? Less?

Rose Wil—-Ravager? Both. The woman in the orange-and-black cap mutters something about, "I knew I should've brough my katanas," and then she bides her time. She uses her two seconds well, too. She begins to run at the precise right moment, faster, and faster, and faster … and then she jumps, high, using every bit of motion, along with the benefit of the train rising from the underground to roughly land upon the roof of the runaway train. She hits, hard, rolls, and almost rolls off, catching herself with a hand at the last moment and pulling herself up to steady herself.

Spider-Man 'The Menace' as she's called him is helping slow things down. Rose clambers towards the front passenger car, moving fowards with a keen sense of balance and ability - her intent is to detach the passenger cars from the engine.

Betty Brant's quick thinking is putting the social media wheels into motion. Even as New York's finest rush to block off and cordon off every street, sidewalk and elevated train platform from here to the end of the line, people are spreading the word and rushing to help the cops. It's unclear why the city or energy company hasn't killed power to the lines yet.

Spider-Girl kicks free of the web and is yanked forward by her sling-shot webs, moments before the train crashes through the web she'd spun. At the very precipice of the track's incline, the webwork rocks the engine but has the effect of forcing it back down into the track, preventing it from popping a catastrophic wheelie.

As for Spider-Girl, she crashes through the front windshield in a dangerous move, which sends her clean through the doorway separating the driver's compartment and into the front car, where she scrapes gloved fingers across the floor to slow herself.

Dani rides ahead of the train, urging Brightwind on faster as she spies a junction box for the train. Guiding Brightwind over and around, she swings her sword and slashes through the junction box like a hot knife through butter, sparks flying everywhere. Then she angles upward, still pacing the train but hoping that manages to slow it down.

Spider-Man feels the mass shift, then right itself. Okay…good. But slowing down would be better.

He switches to cartridges with a less-elastic makeup, then connects the carriage that holds the car to the rails and then the braces that hold up the elevated track with thick ropes of the stronger webbing. He feels the train groan all throughout his body, but doesn't stop. If he is weak, someone else will die.

He braces himself as the speed drops. Come on, come on, COME ON! HOLD!

Rose manages to get to the ledge of the train, and slowly drops down. She pulls a knife out of her jeans, sets into her teeth in case she needs to use it later, and then squats down. Seems, planned or not, she and Spider-Man are going to work towards a simliar goal much like Anya and Dani.

Gritting her teeth, Rose works at prying apart the release mechanism for the passenger cars from the engine. There's only the briefest glimpse to the form of Anya that she sees crashing through the windshield. But, it's apparent by Rose's glance she's leaving Anya up to her own devices. And, after a bit of a struggle for a few seconds, the mechanism finally gives way, causing Rose to fall backwards and into the train's passenger side. She has little room to manuever, or rest, or find safety. Getting crushed under the train now if it jolted would -not- be a good thing. But, it'll make the train easier to slow - and leaves only the runaway engine to take care of.

Betty Brant blinks as she keeps trying to talk her way through all the doors she knows. "What do you mean they're not…" Thankfully, there's a guardian on a horse aiding with the power problem. "Just…try!" She pleas, turning her phone off and tucking it away. Everything happening around her sent the reporter scrambling to jot it all down. Quick notes, a skill in all its own, as she takes down appearances, actions, the chaos of it all.

Suddenly, Spider-Man is no longer fighting the runaway engine as it pulls the train at max throttle; Rose, having detached the train from its engine, has made the so-called masked menace's job a hell of a lot easier. Some of his weblines snap or pull free from where they're mounted, but new ones will hold for a while, and begin slowing the runaway train.

But there's still that engine to deal with.

Spider-Girl scrambles to her feet and runs back into the driver's cab, ignoring the pain wracking her body. "What's the deal?"

"Brakes, throttle, it's all fried," says the driver. "Backups, emergency shutoffs, it's like they're all jammed in place!"

Then, the lights flicker and dim, and the engine suddenly growls to silence. Spider-Girl and the driver look at each other with surprise and gratitude, before the young masked heroine rushes over to the exposed mechanics, poking around. "There's got to be a way to engage the emergency brakes, got to be some kind of short, or a… what the hell?"

With a frown, Spider-Girl shoves her hand into the mechanical area and violently rips something out, a circuit board of some kind. Suddenly, the engine car's emergency brakes come online, and the car begins screaming wheels against rail as it slows.

Dani watches the situation from Brightwind, circling around the train as it starts to slow down, thanks to the emergency brakes. The armored woman keeps an eye out to see who might be responsible, but doesn't seem to see anything that indicates a culprit… or if this was just a freak accident.

Spider-man can feel the train slowing, looking at the twelve lines currently connecting it. Two of them snap, but the rest stretch…stretch…and hold.

Spider-Man pulls himself onto the roof, looking at the engine. The brake lights are on and red, and teh squealing sound tells him that it is slowing, too.

Suddenly the macaroni knees hit and he drops to his knees, then lays on his back on the roof of the train car, his breath shuddering in his lungs.

Once the passenger trains come to a halt, Rose grunts, and then she simply kicks back, and reaches to find her pack of cigarettes again. Out, again, comes the zippo lighter, and she takes a draw of the newly lit, then crosses her legs like she was reclining on a beach in Maui. She's going to be stuck up here, for a little bit. Might as well enjoy herself. At least she's not yelling about Spider-Man being a menace, anymore.

Her singular eye focuses towards the engine, the crazy armored warrior on the flying horse, and the fake-spider-chick, who isn't quite so fake, apparently. "Damn. I wish I had a flying horse," she grumbles.

Betty Brant just watches it all. When it comes to an end, a solid end, she huffs out a held breath and cheers out. "Amazing!" She exclaims, jotting down a few more notes and putting the pad away. "That was wonderful! Thank you all so much!" She beams, looking toward the officers at hand and nodding their way as well. "And you, too. Thank you for the quick response, officer. This is going to be a fantastic article."

The anger of being driven to the wrong burrow is all but forgotten. With the 'calm' settling, she steps back and turns, starting to head toward her own home respectively, forulating lines in her mind along the way.

Both segments of the train are eventually brought to a halt, allowing the fire department and police to converge and begin mounting an evacuation of the terrified, yet grateful passengers. Many of them were recording everything on their cell phones; some of them live on social media.

As for Spider-Girl, somewhere back there her denim shots and chucks were knocked clean off, most likely during her daring 'entrance' onto the front car. She really is Spider-Girl now, in all black and white and clearly infringing on some teenager's intellectual property. However, her attention is on that tiny circuit board in her hand, and she's visibly growing angry.

"Son of a bitch," the Latina heroine hisses, then promptly scrambles our through the busted front window and climbs up onto the roof of the train. Rose is nearby, so she ends up with the brunt of Anya's ire. The young woman holds up the item in her hand and says, "This fucking train was rigged!"

Oops. She shouted it. Probably loud enough for more than a few people to hear.

Dani sees Spider-Man collapsed on the roof of the train, and guides Brightwind over towards him. The winged horse comes in for a graceful landing near Spidey on the roof, and the Valkyrie looks down at Spider-Man, "A valiant effort, not in vain. Though it looks like you might need a lift?" Dani smiles, offering Spidey a hand up and onto Brightwind if he wants it.

The yips and shudders last for a bit. The terror tends to come AFTER the crazy heroics, not before. Like someone who looks back at the wreck of the car they just stepped out of and think, "…the driver of that car should be DEAD."

He hears the girl call out how the train was rigged. It answers a lot of questions, except the important one: WHO?

Then a shadow falls over him and its…a woman. In armor. On a winged horse, carrying a sword. *God? Am I dead?*
God doesn't answer but the part of him he calls Stupid Mouth says sardonically, *Ya think it would hurt this much if you were?*
A good point.

Spider-Man pulls himself to his feet, and the effort to keep from dropping again is in itself superhuman. "I…think I might. I'm…I'm a little unsteady."
He reaches up with one gloved hand to grasp Dani's.

Far below, one cop looks up at the flying horse and says, "It's up to 15 million now, right?"
His partner says dryly, "Yep…but my karma ain't that good. Yours, Hale?"
The first cop shakes his head. "…I don't think so."

"Distraction," states Rose, matter-of-factly. All the piece fit. Whether she's heard or not, she's not shouting it - but neither is the young woman who can analyze details, facts, and data as fast as thought and assimilate them into hard data like a supercomputer trying to speak to herself. "And, it worked. Whatever they wanted people distracted from, they've already done." She takes another drag, casually, of her cigarette, admitting, "Damn good distraction too."

"You think so, huh?" asks Anya, peering at Rose while lowering the item, then casually slipping into a pouch or pocket at her hip that was previously invisible. Up close like this, her costume doesn't seem to be made of any fabric, like spandex, or form fitting armor. There aren't any visible seams, and yet there's a pocket right there. Weird.

"Well," she says, now using a far more normal volume, "I'm gonna keep it, analyze it. Don't tell the five-oh, yeah?" A smirk. "Gonna try and avoid the whole rap sheet thing long as I can." Rose gets a stiff upnod then from Anya. "Good thinking back there."

Turning away, she scans the friendly skies for Dani, and spies her…. giving Spider-Man a lift.

Speaking of intellectual property rights…

Dani isn't super-strong like you might expect a Valkyrie to be, but she's strong enough to help someone onto her horse. She sets Spider-Man in front of her, "There, just hold steady, Brightwind and I won't let you fall, hero." She grins, then uses her legs to urge the horse forward. Brightwind spreads his wings and launches into the air, diving a bit before straightening out and flying straight over the cops that were talking. Once the horse's flight is level, Dani says conversationally, "By the way, I'm Mirage, and you must be the Spider-Man."

Spider-Man is still shaking, but only slightly. He's keeping it together, though. "Uhhh…hi, Mirage. Yeah…yeah, I'm Spider-Man. But who was the other Spi…"
He stops, then sniffs and wrinkles his nose. "What the…?"

Hale was getting into the car to call dispatch when a loud, hard SPLAT hits the roof, followed by a tinkle of glass. Hale's partner jerks, then stands still.
Hale looks to him, only seeing him from the neck down. "Cranston! Something hit us!"
Cranston replies in a dull voice, "…Horseshit."
Hale frowned. "I KNOW SOMETHING HIT US!"
Then Cranston knelt and Hale saw his face was covered in something earthy and smelly, and his hat was gone. "Yeah…something did."
Then a glob of winged-horsepucky rolled down the front windshield, leaving a green-brown smear.

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